BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -
The Center For Disease Control said a new and deadly Superbug is sweeping the nation's hospitals.
It has hit more than 200 hospitals in the U.S. in only six months and last month appeared for the first time in Bakersfield at several hospitals.
Those hospitals discovered carbapenem resistant enterobacteria known as CRE.
It's a drug resistant bacteria that could kill someone and he or she wouldn't even know it.
Kern Medical Center, San Joaquin Community Hospital and Mercy Hospital Downtown each discovered a case of CRE last month.
The Centers For Disease Control said CRE is bacteria from the human colon that poses a triple threat: It is resistant to almost all antibiotics, spreads its resistance to other bacteria and can kill 50 percent of infected patients.
It's usually found in nursing homes and hospitals.
People at risk are those with compromised immune systems and patients undergoing treatment in hospitals, especially those using temporary medical devices like catheters or ventilators which is prime breeding ground for CRE.
"They can appear almost anywhere and with lots of different symptoms," said KMC'S Chief Of Infectious Disease Doctor Royce Johnson.
Johnson said CRE is typically stumbled upon during medical tests.
"There is no possibility you will know you have a CRE until the organism is cultured and (doctors) tell you," said Johnson.
"They are very difficult to treat and is done with high levels of antibiotics or combinations of antibiotics and removing temporary medical devices as soon as possible," said County Public Health Department Lab Director Dr. Michael Lancaster.
Hospitals handle CRE cases by isolating patients, washing hands frequently, having people wear gowns and masks and thoroughly cleaning everything.
Doctors are reminding people not to take antibiotics unless they are prescribed, otherwise you could be putting yourself at risk for CRE.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.